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Survey reveals locals’ opinions on crime, border security, and the presidential election.

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – Nearly half the residents in northern New York believe crime is on the rise and their quality of life is deteriorating. That’s according to the 2024 Current Issues survey released Thursday by Jefferson Community College’s Center for Community Studies.

In one question, survey participants were asked if they felt their overall quality of life was getting better, staying the same, or getting worse. The results showed that 48 percent believe it’s getting worse, 40 percent said it’s staying the same, and just 12 percent feel it’s getting better.

Respondents were also asked about their perception of crime in the north country compared to a year ago. More than half said it’s worse, while only 5 percent said it’s better.

The survey also delved into broader topics:
– Political Polarization: 88 percent agreed that polarization among political parties has created a divide in the U.S., making the federal government less effective.
– Border Security: 83 percent agreed that the federal government should prioritize securing the U.S. borders and reducing illegal immigration.
– Nationalism: 71 percent agreed that the United States should focus on its own people and issues, letting other countries address their own problems.
– Gun Rights and Gun Control: 69 percent agreed that stricter gun laws would not reduce gun violence and deaths.

On the topic of the upcoming 2024 presidential election, the survey found that if the vote were held today, 53 percent of those surveyed would choose Donald Trump, 18 percent would choose Joe Biden, and 29 percent said they would either not vote, vote for another candidate, or were undecided.

The survey involved 1,882 adults across the tri-county region in April, including 796 residents from Jefferson County, 501 from Lewis County, and 585 from St. Lawrence County.

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